Letters to the Editor

Many presidents skipped Israel

You remember the classical description of Jewish people and opinions? When two Jews are in discussion, there are three opinions. The AJP has no need to apologize for publishing a variety of viewpoints; it’s one of the paper’s, in fact, any paper’s, strengths.

Additionally, it behooves those who write letters to the editor to check their facts first. Ken Miller wrote in the Aug. 24 issue, “…President Obama is the only modern president who has not visited Israel.” During his 2008 presidential campaign in a visit to Sderot, Obama said, “I bring to Sderot an unshakable commitment to Israel’s security … Israel faces determined enemies who seek its destruction. But it also has a friend and ally in the United States that will always stand by the people of Israel … I don’t think any country would find it acceptable to have missiles raining down on the heads of their citizens … If somebody was sending rockets into my house where my two daughters sleep at night, I’m going to do everything in my power to stop that. And I would expect Israelis to do the same thing.”

Granted, President Obama has not visited Israel during his presidency, but is he the only “modern” president who hasn’t? Since Israel’s founding, starting with Harry S. Truman who never visited Israel, only the following did: Richard Nixon in the sixth year of his presidency, Jimmy Carter in the third year and George W. Bush in the eighth year. Bill Clinton, bless him, went four times in the second, third, fourth and sixth years. Startling, is it not, that Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush, like Truman, did not set foot in Israel? Who knew …

—Billie Kozolchyk